Designated complaints manager: Tanya Plumer.
All staff have had training on resolution of oral complaints and front line staff making every effort to prevent them escalating to a written response
If an oral complaint can be resolved within 24 hrs a written response is not essential although if appropriate the complaints manager will provide one.
If a patient makes a complaint in person or by telephone, the member of staff receiving the complaint must make an initial record of their concerns and checks this for accuracy with the patient. The patient is given a copy of the record and the original is passed to the Tanya. If Tanya is available, the patient is asked whether they would like to see her immediately. Otherwise the patient is advised when the Tanya Plumer will make contact to arrange a meeting in person or by telephone.
In the event of a written complaint
There must be written acknowledgement within 3 working days. The letter must:
- offer the complainant opportunity to discuss an agreed approach either by telephone or in person
- advise complainant how you will be investigating what has occurred
- advise the complainant of expected time scales
- Enclose with letter the patient complaint code of practice.
A proper response must be made as speedily as possible, ideally within 10 working days but resolving issues can take up to 6 months. Patient must be keep informed of progress.
Any clinical or financial complaint must be referred back to the dentist.
The letter must include:
- What happened
- Explanation of any steps put in place to prevent repeat of the problem
If appropriate the practice may choose as a goodwill gesture to
Waive or refund a fee
Offer remedial treatment free of charge
Arrange an independent second opinion from an appropriate clinician particularly when the patient has suffered a recognised complication of a procedure.
The complainant should be made aware that if they are not happy with the response they can get further advice from:
NHS Commissioning Board
PO Box 16738
The practice will endeavour to fully investigate any complaint.
- Investigation should be done by someone not involved so the complaint is handled objectively.
- Draw up list of people to speak too who were involved.
- Consider if suspension of an employee is needed.
- Prepare for interviews with each person involved.
- Verify information by checking practice records and contacting external parties.
- Produce a report with findings.
- Take action if needed.
The practice complaints manager will
- Log complaint in complaints file.
- Log complaint as significant incident if needed
- Keep copy of investigation and produce a written report.
- Take incident to next practice meeting so it can be shared with the team.
- Give everyone has an opportunity to discuss and contribute to the analysis of the event in a supportive environment so that lessons can be learned and shared.
- Make changes to system or practice to minimize future risks